Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known particularly for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Thus Spake Zarathustra, An Alpine Symphony, and Metamorphosen. Strauss, along with Gustav Mahler, represents the extraordinary late flowering of German Romanticism after Richard Wagner, in which pioneering subtleties of orchestration are combined with an advanced... harmonic style. Strauss was considered the greatest composer of the first half of the 20th century, and his music had a profound influence on the development of 20th-century music.
Strauss was also a prominent conductor throughout Germany and Austria, and internationally known as well. Strauss was born on 11 June 1864, in Munich, the son of Franz Strauss, who was the principal Horn player at the Court Opera in Munich. In his youth, he received a thorough musical education from his father.